California Dreaming

In association with award-winning architects Pleysier Perkins, InForm provides a holistic service including architecture, interior design, cost planning, permit acquisition, building documentation and construction. The exclusive partnership with Pleysier Perkins allows for the complete integration of architecture with construction in a process that promotes creativity, flexibility and efficiency.

What is the history of the InForm / Pleysier Perkins partnership?

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Cameron McKimm & Simon Perkins

CM: InForm was founded in 1993 by my father Chris McKimm with the desire to produce quality architect designed houses at affordable prices. We have maintained a commitment to this philosophy throughout the subsequent years commissioning a range of architects. In 2006 we asked Pleysier Perkins to contribute a design which would become the first generation Gallery house. It was the beginning of a fruitful collaboration for us both.

SP: We strongly identify with InForm’s mission; quality design is not purely a function of budget. In mid 2012 InForm invited us to become their exclusive architects, and the basis of a more holistic collaboration evolved over many long and detailed discussions around a mutual passion for architecture. Together we integrate architecture and construction in a process that promotes creativity, flexibility and efficiency.

What is the outcome of the partnership?

CM: Early in 2013 we launched the California House, along with a new range of eight house designs, all created collaboratively with Pleysier Perkins. The range provides a starting point for conversations. The designs can be tailored to suit clients’ individual requirements and building sites, or new custom designs can be created.

SP: Most of the concept designs suit a typical family and fit on a standard suburban property, however they offer stylistic options and planning alternatives depending on the project site and orientation. They are designed for varying needs and preferences, with single- and double-storey family homes as well as a duplex and a pavilion-style retreat, ideal for beach or bush settings.

How would you characterise your process?

CM: Efficient and client focused. Efficiency is a constant ambition, fundamental in achieving the best possible value for our clients. 21 years’ experience in the industry has allowed InForm to refine processes and methodologies, as well as develop a great network of sub-contractors and suppliers. These generate cost efficiencies that are passed on to our clients.

How important is design to this process?

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CM: Quality design underpins everything we do, from concept design to detail resolution. The initial concept design stage is particularly critical, culminating with plans and a 3D computer model for every project. A construction price is then established on the basis of the InForm Specification, which may be further tailored once the interior design is confirmed in the second stage. This allows our clients absolute budget certainty prior to proceeding beyond stage one.

SP: It is pointless, actually disastrous, to proceed with construction on the basis of an ill-conceived design. We use the computer modelling as a design tool and for client presentations. It allows everybody to understand the concept and appreciate how the house works. It also allows us to make modifications or test alternative theories so
our clients make informed decisions.

Can the designs be modified?

CM: Flexibility is fundamental to responding to the needs of a diverse market. Our clients all have different priorities and requirements. We have a range of concept designs, but one size does not fit all. We expect to discuss with our clients how they can be tailored to suit their unique circumstances and their site, if required.

SP: It’s been interesting since we launched the range — most clients have been quite non-specific about which design they want — they like them all! So obviously we work with the design that best serves their needs, including their budget and their site. Or we can design a bespoke house, often inspired by aspects of the concept designs.

What was the evolution of the California House?

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SP: Cam came to us with a picture of the Kauffman House, enthusing about it. That was when I realised the full potential of our collaboration, witnessing Cam’s enthusiasm for this great piece of architecture. We are fervid admirers of Mid-century modernism, so this shared enthusiasm was the catalyst for the California House.

What are the key features of the house?

SP: The California House features deep horizontal roof planes and extensive glazing with an emphasis on outdoor living, so is therefore perfectly suited to the Australian lifestyle and climate. Consistent with our flexible approach the California display has been slightly tailored to maximise the potential of its corner site and long northern orientation. All living spaces face north while the study features a North West glazed corner accentuating the cantilevered lower roof plane. The material palette is classic: stained western red cedar cladding contrasting with white fascias and silver travertine that flows throughout the ground floor and external terrace. A feature fireplace provides a degree of separation between the meals and living area, which opens via full height glazed sliding doors to the loggia, an outdoor living room.

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